WDFW POLICE NEED YOUR HELP – On January 9th four dead eagles were discovered floating in a lake outside of Granite Falls (Snohomish Co). The four eagles were retrieved by officers on January 10th. Initial observations suggests at least three of the birds were killed using a small caliber rifle. It appears that the birds had been perched in trees before they fell to their death into the water.
Bald eagles are protected under state and federal law. The federal violation for killing an eagle is a Class A misdemeanor. It is also a state crime with a maximum penalty of $1,000 and 90 days in jail. Also, under state law, $2000 per eagle killed is assessed upon conviction.
WDFW, Humane Society of the United States and Conservation Northwest have collaborated to offer up to $3,750 cash reward. In order to qualify for the total amount, the information must lead to an arrest and conviction. Anyone with information related to this egregious act is encouraged to call the Fish and Wildlife Police on our TIP line at 1.877.933.9847 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Information will be treated confidentially.
My thoughts on this:
I cannot imagine what would possess someone to do this horrible thing…… it breaks my heart, makes me physically ill, It hurts my soul. It makes me angry beyond words… but mostly it cuts me deeply to the very core of who I am and what I stand for….
I also feel guilty…. my gut instinct on this crime is that it was kids “playing” with a .22 rifle… that’s the “best”??? scenario I can come up with … as a kid I had a BB gun and yes later a .22 …the BB gun I would take and walk through the creeks and shoot at just about everything… I pretended I was special forces and I’d come up on a bridge and sneak in and shoot at the pigeons… I say shoot ” at them” because it was a BB gun , the kind you worked the lever action to “pump” and there was no guarantee you would hit anything much less kill anything unless you were less than 3 feet away from your “target” …I never hit anything let alone killed anything that I remember other than maybe a crawdad or two but I ate those….but it’s still not something I should have been doing… the .22 I got was with strict training and rules and if the rules were broken (which they were) then I lost the privilege of using the weapon and got a switch that I picked across my backside from Grandma…. but what I’m saying here is that I feel guilty that I did that with the BB gun even as a kid but I cannot go back in time and undo that…but what I did do is emphasize all safety and gun and weapon safety to my children and a healthy respect for wildlife.
So sticking with my theory that this is kids “playing” with guns – Because if it’s NOT than this is a sick Mother-F’er that needs more than just 90 days in jail max and a fine…….. if it IS kids, the parents AND the children need to be found and held accountable!
When I read this story and saw the heart wrenching photo that accompanies it I felt physically ill and sad beyond belief. I cried. I cried for the beautiful birds that were slaughtered, I cried for the people that committed this crime, and I cried for our country, I cried for every person who has seen one of these majestic creatures up close, for those of us that have held them and helped them heal, I also cried heavily for every veteran of the US Armed forces….that’s where it hit me the hardest… every veteran during peace or war time has fought for all of us for our freedoms and even for that 2nd amendment right to bear arms… we did that under the guidance of our government and our flag. the Seal of the United States and included in the symbols of every branch of the military is the Bald Eagle… it’s our National Bird, it’s a symbol of Freedom ans so much more….. how could any American harm this bird? honestly how could anyone anywhere harm this beautiful bird?? but it hurt me as a Veteran to know that the people that did this do not “get” what we sacrificed for THEM..10 years of my life, pain, suffering, emotional and physical damage that I and other veterans incurred to give them the freedom to even have that gun and walk through the woods freely ….. it hurts to know that they just have no appreciation for the Country in which they live…. it’s the “entitlement” generation and they just don’t get it…… ok I get that you get how much this bothered me….. so what can I do? what can WE do ? If you don’t know me then here’s what I do…. I’m a get ‘er done guy…. I see a problem and I look for solutions… I find a solution and I fix the problem… so what about this one??? I see a couple problems:
1. The federal violation for killing an eagle is a Class A misdemeanor. – Really? just a misdemeanor???? This should be a FELONY!!!
2. It is also a state crime with a maximum penalty of $1,000 and 90 days in jail. Also, under state law, $2000 per eagle killed is assessed upon conviction. -ONLY 90 days ?? and with our legal system that would probably get “waived” …should be a MANDATORY 90 days MINIMUM….
3. WDFW, Humane Society of the United States and Conservation Northwest have collaborated to offer up to $3,750 cash reward. – Really??? i do think it’s great that these groups have partnered together to come up with a reward but look at the names of the groups and for 4 Bald Eagles, four symbols of our country, of Freedom all they can muster up is $3750???? WTF??? don’t get me wrong I respect these groups and the good that they do and that their money can be better used in education and conservation but now a days 3750$ to narc on your friend isn’t enough…. ( I’m sticking with my kids theory) ….
so I don’t see much I can really do about 1 and 2. but I’ve done some fundraising in my day and I’ve got a whole bunch of Eagleholic friends that know how to get ‘er done with me…… so I contacted the WDFW Police and asked them how I can help increase the reward to make it more attractive to turn in your friend …. they responded and let me know they will find out 🙂 once I know – trust me you’ll know!!!!
the other thing I can do is write this blog post and share it and ask you to share the article above from WDFW with anyone you know in Washington State in case they know of someone who knows something … and once I figure out how to increase that reward, help me please….
and if you have other suggestions share them below.
****Update***** The Stillaguamish Tribe has offered an additional $10,000 in reward money (for a total of $13,750) for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the responsible individual(s)